25. The Past and Hesitation
Afterwards, Phil recovered.
After he was finished with all his tasks, he slept on the floor as usual.
I always wondered—without a pillow, doesn’t his head hurt?
By the way, Barroy, one of the knights in charge of farm work, had just arrived.
Let’s ask for his help.
“I’m thinking of giving Phil a pillow, can you lift his head a little?”
Towards my words, Barroy’s eyes widened as he shook his head in an exaggerated manner.
I tried to ask for the reason, but Barroy put his finger on his mouth and pulled me a little further away.
Before I realized it, we had left the house, to a place where Phil wouldn’t be able to hear our voices. At last, Barroy exhaled.
“Excuse me, but within that radius, we risk of waking that person up.”
Such a wide radius?
Certainly, even if it seemed that he was vast asleep, he could hear to my voice.
When I tilted my head, Barroy smiled bitterly.
“Did you know? We have never seen that person sleeping so defenselessly.”
“After all, I’m also in the Third Army. In the North, I rarely saw him so defenseless. I never stood a chance. Even if he were to drink some alcohol, he’d never let his guard down, no matter what kind of beauty poured it for him. In the first place, he never drinks anything poured by an unfamiliar person. In fact, I had never seen him drink anything…”
What is he talking about?
It was just too difficult to believe. It seemed to be a different person from the Phil I was familiar with.
“We’re of the same group as Alves, so I’ve known that person since I was young. Back then, we are a bunch of fearless idiots and ended up doing a bunch of foolish things. We were beaten by the corps commander all at once.”
Gazing far away into the distance, Barroy’s expression turned nostalgic.
I didn’t want to ask what they did, but was it at such a level that the corps commander had to punish them directly?
“But that fun time soon came to an end. His mother was poisoned and his father collapsed. Thus, he changed completely.”
In retrospect, when he was conversing with Alves, Phil had never brought up his parents.
Phil had always mentioned either his older brother or his older sister.
Recently, he had also started to talk about his brother-in-law, nephew, and niece. But I had never heard of his other family members.
I had wondered if they talked about his parents when I wasn’t present, or if he was merely being thoughtful because we had lost our parents.
But it turns out this was the reason.
I didn’t know at all.
“…Can I hear more about Phil’s family?”
“I’m truly sorry, but please ask the person in question for the full story! If it’s us, it’s a little…”
Barroy shook his head in a hurry.
But then, he stared at my face and relaxed a little.
“At the very least, he still talks about foolish things in front of us. Thanks to being introduced to this place, we’ve become able to encounter him once again. It seems that he regards us as credible people. However, if we inadvertently approach him while he’s sleeping, he’ll definitely unsheathe his sword. We’re totally of no use here! Sorry!”
Please don’t apologize so much…
I tried to reassure him in a light-hearted tone.
I also apologized to Barroy and returned to the house.
Phil was still slumbering.
I had given up on the pillow and decided to return to my room.
The plan was to attach a cleanly-washed, replacement, collar to a dress. But before I realized it, my hand, which was holding the needle, had stopped.
…Recently, I was at a loss.
I thought of Phil as my brother’s best friend, and I behaved around him without knowing anything. The entire time, I did my best to not look, listen, or notice anything.
However, as of the present, was that a good idea?
Phil and Alves wanted me to remain in the dark.
I might inadvertently disturb Phil, or his peace.
In order to prevent that, shouldn’t I learn some of his circumstances?
According to what I had pretended to forget last night, Phil must get married within a year.
He could only spend some leisurely days here with the Ragulen family for only about one more year.
At present time, he had three days off.
After that, how many more times would he visit us? Once he returned to his original assigned place of work up in the North, no one knew when his next visit would be.
I stared at Phil who was taking a nap on the floor. From this a distance, it was as if I could fit him within the palms of my hands.
Phil… if you don’t come here, where else could you relax?
“…No, I shouldn’t be so pessimistic. Your new family could become your place to relax, right?”
Even if it was an arranged marriage, a happy family wasn’t impossible.
Despite how he acted, Alves thought a lot about Phil. Therefore, he’d surely help Phil in finding his other half. May he find a lady who was gentle and cheerful but also had a strong spirit.
Once his child was born, Phil would then become a father who’d try to spend as much time as possible with his child despite complaining about it.
I could easily imagine Phil becoming like that.
Regardless, even if I could easily picture it, even if it became reality—
—I’d never be able to see it.
“He also wouldn’t need that room anymore.”
Would the day where I had to clean up the guest room exclusive for Phil arrive?
His changes of clothes that continued to pile up. The small pictures he kept bringing in without permission. The old chairs that were repaired every time he came—
—would I need to get rid of it all someday?
…I’d hate to clean the room of a person who had left.
I’d inadvertently notice the empty space he had left behind.
I’d hate that.
“I have to stay firm! I have to think about the meals or today and tomorrow, instead of worrying about the future!”
I hit my cheeks with both hands.
The tingling pain brought me back to reality. The lists of tasks that needed to be done returned to my mind. I didn’t have time to be absent-minded.
My hand started to fluidly sow once again, probably because of my enthusiasm.
***T/N: This chapter is just so sad T.T There’s a gaping hole in my chest…
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!